Heavy punching bags can be expensive, so a common option amongst trainers is to buy an unfilled bag and purchase the filling separately, thus saving on costs. Unfilled punch bags can be filled with a number of materials, including sand, various grains and even rags.
Why Use Rags to Fill A Punch Bag?
A major issue with sand filling is that it can quickly settle in the bottom of the punch bag, causing the lower part of the bag to turn very hard while the top becomes practically empty. Rags, on the other hand, create a firmer finish all round, better moulding to the shape of the bag even with continual use.
Furthermore, textiles are typically more readily available and easier to obtain than large quantities of sand. They are also far more practical to haul from one location to the next. And as they are mostly recycled from old items of clothing and other textiles, rags are also friendlier on the environment.
It is for all of the above reasons combined that many professional gyms opt for rags as a punch bag filling.
How to Fill Your Punch Bag
To fill your punch bag, simply fill it with rags, and after every few inches climb in the bag and squash the rags down using your own body weight; this is important to ensure an even, compact filling. Continue this process of filling the bag and squashing down the rags until the bag is full and firm to your liking, ensuring an even fill as is possible. Once full, hang up the punch bag and train with it regularly for several weeks – punching the bag often will help even out the filling as well as give you an indication as to whether it is firm enough or requires additional rags to bulk it out.
The amount of rags required will vary depending on the size of your punch bag and the desired weight – a good amount of rags to begin with is 40KG (LMB can supply 4x 10KG of mixed rags for £31.20 including VAT and postage), although you may require fewer or more rags depending on the size of your punching bag.